Monday, December 3, 2012


maxwell alan meiste is now a 6 year old big boy.

what a momentous occassion, for 6 years ago, he made me a mama.  i am so incredibley thankful for the precious gift of my eldest son.  it is my absolute privelege to be his mom, and i pray daily that i am doing a worthy job to equip him and glorify the giver of this perfect give.

last night we had the final birthday celebration for maxer.  i adore birthday parties for my adorables.  not because i give amazingly themed parties, or because i am a hostest with the mostest.  quite the contrary.  last night we had jets pizza.  though i did serve some really beautiful rainbow jello and these delish lofthouse sugar cookie bars. 

the reason i love birthday parties so much is the opportunity to be sorrounded by peeps that cherish him alongside of me.  the chance to gift max with good things we think he will enjoy.  to concentrate our love and thanksgiving for my son, to take an evening to honor him and appreciate him collectively. 

for maxwell alan, you are loved, son.  you thoughtfulness abounds.  yesterday, you used your blue tickets (earned each day for good behaviour at school) to purchase a crazy straw for weston.  you love your little sibs, and i love watching you interact with them.  you are a hard worker, at school and at home whether doing projects or outdoors work.  you are appreciative.  this thanksgiving you told us you were the most thankful for a daddy that works so hard with the chickens so we can live in our house and do fun things.  (bear was most thankful for monster trucks, and ayla jo was most thankful for ponies).  you still look forward to nest nights on saturday and are the only faithful participant for the entire night.  you are a very good friend, as is evidenced by the stories and vast number of kindergarteners that say goodbye and hello each day at school.  on your birthday, dakota's mom sent me a text of dakota holding a sign wishing you a happy birthday.  i cannot believe you are receiving texts already...

and max, the thing i am most proud of, you love jesus.  you always tell me our little saying in the mornings, mommy loves you and jesus is in your heart. as christmas approaches, you are committed to remembering that we are celebrating jesus' birthday, not just presents.  i pray that you and jesus continue to build a real and strong relationship together.  i pray thatdaddy and  i offer you an example of what it looks like to live for god's glory.  i pray that we make jesus' happy with the way we raise you.  i praise the lord for you my son.

thank you jesus for this sweet boy.  you have given us much in this adorable boy, may we love and raise him with your love.


this morning as i rolled into sandy view with minutes to spare before the bell rang, i parked the new van glancing anxiously at the new alert on the dashboard when maxer rocked my world with these words

i think i am just going to walk in by myself.


yeah, you can tell me you love me and jesus is in my heart in the van.


yeah mom, i am brave

o, yes you are you 6 year old!!

also brave is bear bear.
he poops in the dark.  complete blackness in the bathroom, but there he is pooping.  and he poops naked.  so i just walked by the bathroom to put some shoes in ayla jo's room to find a naked son pooping in the dark. 
my world is exciting for sure.

baby blue is a little different than her brothers.  cupcake is super frightened of certain parts in movies the boys never were fazed.  she also is scared to step over the threshold of the elevator, pointing to the crack and screaming monsters.  darling gets frightful at night sometimes calling out and telling me scary monsters.  aw, i am happy to rescue the little prinpress.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

election day

what a privelege it is to live in a country that gives its citizens the power to choose our leader.  this morning, as the adorables were up way before the sun and we had some extra time before school started, i attmepted to teach the babes about the land of the free and the home of the brave.

that was an enormous undertaking for the four of us, but i think we made some notable progress: everyone wore red, white and blue in some form.  max requested green and white for the spartans flag.  i took that opportunity to launch into a lecture about old glory at which point max told me he changed seats at school and now he sits by matthew.  and matthew puked at school yesterday.  dont worry, he plugged his nose...

so, i gracefully guided the children into a little lesson about voting.  maxwell, ever full of information told me that mrs. pitcher has a boat.  at this point i gave up and just had the darlings repeat after me the bible verse for the week. 

"every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that jesus christ is lord"

whenever i paused after jesus christ is... bear says IN.  and i say, in? like in what?  my heart shouts weston.  okay, that is also an acceptabe answer ;) love that bear bear

then we prayed all together, for our naiton- that we strive to be a nation demonstrative that our true leader is the lord.  my fearful heart takes comfort in knowing that even if people succeed in taking god's name out of every legality, he will not be moved. 
we prayed for the citizens, that they will exercise this right to vote and do so with the responsibility such a task warrants.
we prayed for the leaders of the country, that they will use their power for god's glory.

at this point, bear said he thought we should just sing god our father next time as this prayer was quite lengthy.

with this sort of inspirational beginning to the day, i knew big things were in store for the meiste's.

next on the list of amazing happenings, we took the new veen.  the ride was beautiful and smooth, the seats were toasty warm, and there was dvd magic.  then somehow the dvd got stuck inside the player...  not sure where to go from here.  we took the old veen to pick max up from school. still just more comfortable breaking that one.

onto the polls.  i was number 193, which is remarkable considering the polls had only been open for 2 hours.  bear bear and ayla jo were very well behaved playing the racecar game on my phone sitting on the floor near my chair.  and the best part, on the way out, we literally almost ran into val.  the kids were racing down the ramp and she was awaiting us at the bottom.  aw, loved that.

when maxer came home from school, we looked through some of his papers and came across an article about the election.  he proudly told me he chose mitt romney.  when i asked why, max told me it was because mitt looked like mr john (john zoet, brads boss).  wise boy.

in the world of baby blue, she voted to wear jammies all afternoon.

whatever makes you happy cupcake!  she also went from noon till almost 3 without a diaper, including a nap.  but she woke up saying she leaked, so i cheered and told her she was peeing and yeah, lets go on the potty!  she shrieked and kicked and requested a diaper.  diapers it is.

go america!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

october 30

october 30th was a good day.  i took the adorables to aldi after dropping off maxer at school.  after the groceries were unpacked and lunch was served, bear bear and i did a spooky skeleton project involving construction paper and noodles.  then i made some chicken noodle casserole, fruit pizza and peanut butter brownies for the fam.  brad worked rather late in the pig coop fixing a heater, but was able to join us for the delicious dinner.  as the night was gray and chilly, we spent the latter portion of the evening telling scary stories in the fort the boys made behind the couch.  (brad started it off with a story about a camel named max, a donkey named weston and a beautiful princess named ayla.  then the boys told stories that strarted the same way.  not so scary as they were adorable)

once the babes were all tucked for the night, brad and i picked up a bit and then enjoyed the warmth of the down comforter we brought down from the storage room upstairs.

october 30th held beauty and peace and contentment.  

only because of another october 30th eight years ago.  that day i went to class, wrote some papers, spent some time on looking my best, and met the man who forever changed my life.

october 30th marked eight years since brad and i's blind date.  i was living with the schoonvelds at the time and they persuaded me to join them and their friends for dinner at tgi fridays to meet their friend's brother.  i felt a bit obligated as i was living with them free of charge, but i respected their opinion so i agreed. 

when 7 rolled in i opened their front door to reveal a dashingly handsome farmer with a big and loud red truck.  not knowing how to respond, i gave brad a tour of the schoonveld's home and started talking about anything and everything.  i remember complimenting brad on his truck, and telling him his beard worked for him.  o embarassing.  the night was super fun and culminated in me asking brad if he would call if i gave him my number.  poor man did not have a chance to say practically anything as is evidenced by the fact that i offered my number before he could ask. 

for all the awkwardness of that night, there was some profound goodness.  after knowing of each other for only 5 months, brad proposed.  3 months later we were wed. 

and throughout my day,
as i repeatedly set up the princess bowling set for my son and daughter to knock down,
as i attempted the first french braid in ayla jo's hair,
as i picked up my grinning kindergartener from school,
as i stopped in at my soon to be neighbor's house,
as i cleaned up our dinner dishes,
i sent silent prayers of thanksgiving for the blind date that brought me here.

and as i fell asleep, i had the same feelings of blissful anticipation as i did october 30th 8 years ago. 

thank you brad for making my life so exciting and loving and awesome.
thank you jesus, for uniting us for always.


this week was full of parent teacher conferences.  the opportunity to speak with both max's teacher and bear bear's teacher were much anticipated for me.  so much happens outside of my little world with the adorables.  for max, school is his main stay for his days, he spends most of his time there during the week.  i know and love our time spent together, but those hours at school remain a mystery despite my most insightful and persistent detective work.

brad and i began the conferences tour on monday evening with a 5:20 date with mrs. pitcher.  i was seriously excited.  probs no less than four moms have come up to me since school began telling me that their son/daughter talks exclusively about maxer.  with good stories.  max always has a smile when i pick him up from school and does give me a detail or two from his days.  so i had a great feeling that mrs. pitcher would only have goodness to share about my big boy.

bopa came to watch the adorables and brad and i arrived right on time to be whisked into the world of kindergarten.  amidst the tiny tables and mini chairs, mrs. pitcher unfolded the "i'm not lion, max's been tryin" book housing the efforts of our boy.  as we hungrily looked through paper after paper, we discovered max is doing great academically.  but even more awesome is that he is doing superb behaviourally.  mrs pitcher stated he is loving and respectful to everyone.  hooray max!  recently, mrs pitcher started rewarding the kids with a blue ticket for every day they did not need to move their clip (her classroom management technique).  max has earned a ticket every day and already got to choose a prize for saving up 5 ticks. 

my other fave part was looking at some of the artwork.  when asked to draw a person, maxer did.  he drew brad, as is evidenced by the fact that the man had side hair around his head but not on top.  precious.

our time with mrs. pitcher ended much to soon.  brad voiced his opinion that perhaps i mentioned the fact that i was a kindergarten teacher for my student teaching much to frequently.  that might be true.  things get a little wild when i am excited or anxious and talking.

we returned home beyond proud and poured on the praise to max.  he responded, "wow, i did not know how happy you guys were gonna be!"  love that little man

then, on thursday morning, bradley and i got to attend bear bear's conferences.  i was as apprehensive about this meeting as i was confident in maxwell's.  weston is every bit as amazing as his big bro.  his behaviour just varries drastically from max's, which is quite cool to witness when it does not manifest itself in hysterics because he does not want to wear pants to school, only shorts, in the 38 degree weather. 

i think brad had similar concerns about bear bear's school experiences so he was able to arrange his work schedule so he could accompany me in a chat with miss brittany.  turns out, our trepidation was unneccessary.  wes is doing awesome in school, both academically and with his action and attitudes.  miss brittany told us wes is eager to answer questions, plays with several different groups of children, and listens to directions the first time.  brad literally asked if she was sure this is weston meiste. 

congrats wes!  we were equally proud of this little pumpkin.  as a reward, max got a darling (in a manly, farmer way) john deere camo jacket and weston got a spiderman halloween costume.  even though those were both things i would have purchased anyway out of necessity, it was perfect to gift the boys' something special for their hard work at school.

we spend thursday afternoon celebrating at tunnel park basking in the suns warm glow, working on some excavating, sand sledding, and enjoying one another's company. 

so blessed are we!

Monday, October 22, 2012

parting is such sweet sorrow

our veen has been a very faithful friend.

some (including me) would say it has been a miraculous vehicle.  for 221,729 miles, that veen has delivered us safely to and fro. 

since the weather has turned cooler, i have noticed something happening in the veen.  cold.  cold was happening. and not warmth.  the heat, alas, works in spurts.  the veen has been struggling through some odd temperature issues, like the engine temp gauge goes from cool to hot coolant temp warnings in a flash.  especially in idle.  whenever we are stopped the engine temp ratchets up while the temp inside the veen stays cold.  however, when the veen is in motion, the heat seems to work.  mostly.

so maybe there have been several days in which the kids and i huddle in the back seats after we drop off maxer and are waiting to bring bear bear inside preschool.  maybe we have even waited in the bathroom for some minutes because it got real cold in the veen.  maybe the hot coolant temp alarm/warning light has been on every time i bring max into school and leave the veen run in the parking lot.

i just kinda feel like i betrayed my friend.  because the veen was a real giver in our relationship.  i sorta trashed the inside by not maintaining a clean and organized interior, but still the veen got us like all our groceries.  i may have let the veen run right out of gas on the side of blue star highway, but still the veen brought us to every playdate we required of it.  this relationship between me and the veen has been super one sided and now i am a bit guilty that at the first sign of real trouble, we bought a replacement.

despite the veens real efforts to keep us warm, you just really need heat for more than a comfy ride. you need heat to keep the ice off your windshield and stop the fog from invading your field of vision whilst wheeling.  and the heater core is a super duper expensive thing to fix.  like probs half the value or all the value of the veen right now.  so it seemed like we really did not have a choice.

and then, my superhero hubs went and found a screaming deal on craigslist which we just had to act on.  the new addition to our fleet is really nice and clean and well equipped and has a sun roof and i admit, i am a bit enamoured with the tannish dream machine.  but still, my heart is a trifle broken at saying farewell to the veen. 

i used to have this prob when buying clothes.  i would not wear the new shoes or shirt or whatev for like a month after i bought it because it was just to new.  solved that issue by buying things only that i need, so then i have to wear the new jeans or go in my sweatpants which really is not appropriate for all outings.  so i get it.  the replacement vehicle is a need.  and the veen really provided for us well. 

so we are embracing the new and being grateful for the old.  i am certain that though the beginning of our relationship was slightly awkward, we will eventually settle into a new pattern of comfort.  brad heard back from the previous owners of the new to us van while we were dining at home conversing about how the kids for sure had to be in bed early.  i angrily chomped on my venison as i heard brad make plans to check out the veen that night.  my attitude was atrocious as we bundled and loaded up the adorables.  i even forgot to put shoes on so wore slippers to these very wealthy and nice people's house way on the north side of holland.  in the pouring rain and darkness, brad walked around the van we would purchase trying to get me excited about it.

look, a sun roof!
really nice tires.
the doors open automatically, one is not permanently out of commission like in the silver bullet. 
heated seats...

i stepped in puddles and kept glancing at the door of the house where the nice lady was frantically searching for keys.  i think mrs van lady sensed my lack of enthusiasm because she offered for me to take my adorables inside her house while brad took the new van for a trial run and she picked up her kids from sporting events.  i do believe she even included supper in that kind offer. 

though i was tempted to have a fourth meal of the day, i assured her i would be real content to sit in the trusty venture until brad returned.  sitting there in the unheated front seat, soggy with raindrops, feeling the cold air blowing through the heating vents, i decided maybe this new chrysler could work for us. 
ayla jo wreaking havoc on the old van while daddy is buying the new one.

so when brad returned with a smile, we comforted the child who arrived home to find us in her driveway and her mom picking up another duaghter, and then called to committ to a purchase.  we picked up the town and country the following evening, cashiers check in hand.  brad had spoken frequently to craig, who turned out to be kreig, which resulted in a moment of panic as the cashiers check was already made out.  but all is well.  kreig has his money and we have a new to us van.

new veen has dvd.  kids are happy.

max is blissful in this pic, mostly because i brought him donuts after school.  a little because we were watching brad purchase the new van.

i have not yet driven the newbie.  i am committed to the venture until the temps deem it necessary to relocate to the chrysler.  not to mention it will probs take at least until december to switch out all the belongings stored in the venture. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012


though actual oktoberfest may in fact be some sort of beer festival, that is not what i am referring to in the title of this post.  i merely chose a name that incorporated a lot of october, and things are always sorta like a circus/festival around here so it works.

now, i have been avoiding the blogging business lately.  this is due to the fact that i cannot find my camera.  it is not lost, i just do not know where it is.  i fear it may be in cadillac, where we spent a couple days with the kleins and an rzr and a commander (all terrain vehicles).  it was an amazing experience in which brad's rzr broke down minutes after arrival and lots of sunday morning was spent on a road trip within a road trip to get an essential part.  it is no wonder that i lost my camera in all the hullabaloo.  and left all my food in the fridge.  oops

the good news is when i am not blogging i dont really think about my awful lack of responsibility.  the bad news is then i do not blog.  so i am admitting once again, i suck at keeping track of stuff, but am back on the bloggy bandwagon. it all balances out right?!

so here is the latest on the home front:

1.  harvest is happening.  this means i have whiplash from glancing out the window whenever a car, combine, or truck goes by in hopes it is brad coming in from the semi or combine or whatev.  because i miss him, and so do the adorables.  it actually rained lots on sunday, so it has not been a constant hardship because brad has been home lots.  that man just is such a vital part of this fam one night without him can be a struggle.  especially when you are me.

2.   max is a bucket filler.  that is right, sandy view is promoting a system of recognizing those who encourage, or fill up one another's buckets with good stuff.  and max was applauded for his kindness.  he stayed in from recess to help zip up his friends jackets.  omg awesome.  we are so proud, and so was he.  he got a note home, a dog pencil (for dad, and the dogs were like dressed for a wedding, so it was weird but did not matter), and lots of praise from his blessed mommy and daddy.

this morning was an extra special drop off as daddy came with us to make the delivery to sandy view. 

3. bear bear is such a passionate and strong willed child.  if he is being caring he is the sweetest boy ever.  if he is being bratty, watch out.  last week there was a new level of whining reached.  and it broke my heart because i get that the whining means he is needing attention.  it was a wild week with work and salsa and stuff.  and i was feeling like nothing was getting done well.  hate that feeling.  anyway, things are looking up this week. 

brad rewarded weston's very good choices with the current desire of his heart, another kitten.  brad is the greatest dad ever.  and i am a pretty amazing mom because i am the one that loaded up the veen with the youngest adorables and drove to the mobile home park that posted a free kitten ad on craigslist.  maybe we are just drawn to the strangest of the strange cat people, but what i found when i parked veen was disturbing.

the matriarch of the family whom i will refer to as big mama for obvious reasons, was very kind in talk and deed.  she was also an incredibley talented smoker as she had a cig hanging from her lips while holding all five kittens, directing her husband to locate a box in which to keep the two we came home with, and providing me with a monologue detailing the correct care of the kittens.

the kittens themselves were tiny, and disgusting.  bear would not even touch one.  all their eyes were matted shut and they were covered head to toe with brown smears which big mama assured me was food but my nose told another story.  a story about poop.  at this point i had to come home with one because the adorables were determined.  so ayla jo and wes each picked one out and big mama plopped them in the box in which they were first located that was soggy with pee and smelly with poop.   i gagged out loud while thanking big mama for her gracious generosity.

the ride home with the kittens was hilarious and panicky at the same time.  baby blue clutched her kitten until the meowing reached epic proportions.  bear was very concerned.  he wanted to bring them back because they were to meowy.  somehow i managed to rescue cupcakes cat from her deathgrip and throw it into the box.  both kittens clawed their way out onto bear bear's booster.  he was beside himself with panic.  he was terrified and grossed out and i had to pull over on the road and close the box to prevent further escapes. 

by the time we reached the farm, bear was horrified and never wanted to see the kittens again.  i dumped some kitty food into the box and left the whole thing in the big barn.  when we went looking for the newcomers after picking up max from school we found only an empty box.

we are moving forward.

4.  aylaroo and i went out for coffee with a dear friend yesterday.  it was amazing.  we sat and visited for over an hour.  the whole time my daughter was an angel.  she sat sweetly still nestled next to me in my seat.  i adored catching up and snuggling in with my girl.  the prinpress was very social as well, waving to the public as they entered or exited bigby.

when we got to weston's preschool to pick him up, you would have thought it was ayla jo who indulged in the caffeine.  she was twirling and hopping and waving at anyone who would watch her.  i think it was the tutu...

so here we are.  a rainy thursday afternoon, just about ready to prepare to get our oldest from kindergarten.  brad will be home tonight due to the rain.  it is a good place to be.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


bear started preschool on monday. 

the adorableness in this pic slays me

school is yet another medium that illuminates the differences between my boys.  whereas maxer quietly endures his education, bear enthusiastically antcipates his school days.  weston had been very angry that maxer started school but he had not.  all those days of waiting finally were over.  bear was ready

monday morn bear woke soon after me. with his eyes swollen with sleep and his voiced crackly from disuse, bear asked if it was time for school.  i responded that is was school day in a few minutes, because explaining that he had 3 hours to go before preschool would just be overwhelming for us both.  besides, time goes in warp speed on school mornings.

when the other adorables joined us, bear chatted excitedly about sitting by emma, and not moving his head, and listening really well to his teachers.  max mentioned that kindergarten is just so long.  true story bud.  i kinda hate that part.  bear's excitement grew and grew as he reminded me he was going to school next after we dropped off max. 

we walked maxwell in and told him mommy loved him and jesus is in his heart.  bear ran over to maxer's friend basillio and tapped his chest saying "jesus is in your heart too basillio".  aw, making mommy and jesus so proud! max walked into class like a pro and we loaded the veen again for bear's drop off.

we were plenty early as kindergarten begins at 8:35 and preschool starts at 9.  we distractedly watched balto II until enough other cars arrived that i determined we would not have to hang out in the hallway so long disrupting the church office people with our waiting. 

bear washed his hands, and asked if ayla jo was going to have a bagel well he was at school.  he remembered always being hungry when maxwell was in school, so bear requested a daily bagel right before we would leave to get max.  he typically devoured his bagel on the way to preschool and found it quite enjoyable, at least memorable enough to assume baby blue would want to do the same. 

bear chose three different hooks from which to hang his coat, sweatshirt and backpack.  i knew there would be plenty of room so i let it go.  ps, his backpack is mine from highschool and college.  adorbs.  so he waited next to me until the doors of learning were opened and i told him mommy loved him and jesus was in his heart.  he ran right in without a second glance.

when i picked little bear bear up, he ran to me with a face shiny with pride and joy.  i heard more from wes on the way home from preschool than i heard from max during his entire year at lakeshore little people's.  here is what i know:

1. he made a new friend. his name is mason.  (mason is a boeskool and totally friends of the fam, not new.  still cute that they are buds on their own :))

2. the loft can only have 5 kids or the whole preschool comes crashing down.

3.  there was a god story and a god song, but wes cannot remember either.

4.  they have monster trucks.  one is wild and has teeth. 

5.  the snack was string cheese, of which bear ate all.

6.  one time emma and weston got in trouble because they were not listening.  bear thinks.

7.  he sat by clay, but emma really wanted to sit by him.

8.  emma likes to play with the babies best.

9.  miss cassie coughs into a closed fist. 

10.  weston is super excited to get back there.

so beautiful.  whenever i tell baby blue to show me her eyes, she closes them.  does not detract from the cute.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

new normal

life this fall is completely different than ever before without maxer around during the days.  not only do we miss him awfully during school, we also all work together to accomodate his daily drop off and pick up from sandy view.  though this transportation could easily be done by a bus, but i treasure being the one to send him off to class with a whispered assurance that mommy loves him and jesus is in his heart.  plus, ayla jo and bear repeatedly ask when we can go pick up maxer, that trip is the highlight of their afternoon!

yesterday demonstrated that we are getting settled into this new normal.  I awaken first to frantically shower as quietly as i can before any of the adorables wake up needing me only to find me unavailable.  ayla jo always joins me next.  ussually we devotion together with dora, well i devotion and she watches dora.  bear bear either joins in now or i must wake him up by carrying him to the veen with a sweatshirt or something to put over his pj's so the sandy view staff sees there is no need for child protective services to be involved here.  around 7:30 i start waking up maxer gently by turning off his fan, opening his door, rubbing his back, etc until he comes downstairs on his own.  this morning it took me three tries until maxer finally said, okay mom, i just want to sleep for a little more.  sorry dude, not an option!

we breakfast and pray together and then start the long process of getting the adorables dressed, teeth brushed, and in the veen.  shoes are never where i put them the night before, and clothes seem to shrink overnight.  but we have thus far been on time every morning.

with maxer at school, we try to get some errands run with one less.  sometimes we have playdates that make me feel guilty at having fun without our biggest.  but i overcome the guilt with thankfulness maxer is doing so well and is able to attend school like a big boy.  the other day, ayla jo went down for a later nap and i had to wake her up to go get max.  she slept up until i was buckling her in.  baby blue groggily opened her eyes and said, "ready to roll". 

one day this week, i had a flashback to my childhood.  well, it must gave been more of my teen years.  my two little sisters would play "wolf child".  this game is entailed one of the girls being a wolf, and the other one being a child.  they would chase eachother around and around the kitchen table.  literally, hours of fun for those two.

 well i played balto with my littlest two.  for those of you who are not familiar with the movie balto, i think you should rent it.  its about a wolf dog who saves an entire village by getting medicine for all the sick kids.  true story. film is animated and amazing.  just ask bear bear.  we happened to find a balto II vhs while at this random antique tractor show last weekend, and bear clutched that movie the entire day.  we watch it every time we start the veen now.  the best 25 cents spent ever. 

okay, so i was balto and cupcake and wes were the dog sled drivers who told me to mush while i dragged them around the living room on a sheet.  i was sweating and they were laughing.  a morning well spent.

we play hard when we get home.  though i had been warned time and again that maxer would be weary when he got home, max has adjusted super well.  bear bear seems to struggle a bit more with tiredness.  i found him sleeping in my bed last wednesday while gathering the babes for soccer practice.  aww buddy.
 he works and plays hard that bear bear.  especially during our hopscotch extravaganza last week.
 cupcake was very efficient and held her stones in her shirt.  clever darling!

tiger joined in the hopping.  since this amazing time, tiger has been hit by a car.  sad story, i know.  but the good news is it was not our car!  and brad being the heroic daddy he is, quickly pitched tiger in the ditch before the adorables could see.  aw.  and ew.

just when things were getting a bit settled...
bear started school!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

bear is 4

happy birthday to my middle.  my adventurous, unapologetic, wild man.  you fill our lives with amusement, joy and beauty with your exciting and sweet personality.  your world has been rocked by your brother going to kindergarten, but you are really thriving being the biggest at home.  you are kind to ayla jo and such a helper to me.  i love getting to spend a bit more one on one with you bear.  since your birthday on sunday, you tell me a lot that four isn't very big.  i think you kinda like being a little squirt yet :) and so do i!

 bear's birthday extravaganza began with ayla jo's at the farm during the family picture event.  he received some lightenig mcqueen awesomeness which remains a favorite movie and toy for this little boy.

though you are 4 wes, daddy still can hurl you high into the air.  the shrieks and giggles are amazing.  and daddy is strong! 

auntie amber made another delish sue's cake for all of us to enjoy.  you are always hungry for cake :)

 monster trucks and zuchinni bread account for a large portion of your days bear bear.

you and i have spent many hours racing cars together as we attempt to settle into these school days of maxer.  somehow, i do not think i am as good a playmate as your bro because you ask me at least 458 times a day when we can go pick maxwell up from school.

thankfully, we have lots of books and kittens and monster trucks to distract you from missing maxer to badly.

weston ripped paper off presents like it was his job this year.  it was entertaining and a little frightening.

on your birthday morn, daddy took us off to the food center to indulge in birthday donuts, your fave breakfast ever.

here is a pic of you trying to contain your excitement, that face never disappoints in cuteness.

you look good in john deere, whether its a tractor or a chair.

 daddy found a huge combine for your present.  you loved the size but were a bit disappointed about the amount.  the rest of the day you kept telling me that your birthday was done because you dont have any more presents. 

the combine has provided hours of entertainment harvesting grass seed and sending it in the auger to a waiting wagon.  my living room may sprout grass soon despite my best efforts to vacuum.

o bear bear.  how i love you!  god made you perfectly you and i adore every bit.  i am forever enchanted by your creativity and strength and gumption.  just this morning we were playing a very involved game in which you were a wild animal and i had to catch you and lock you up.  it was exhausting and very revealing about your persona.  you are the quickest to run and give me a hug or kiss or bite.  bear, i pray for you daily.  i pray god will equip daddy and i to show you that you have what it takes wes.  i pray you will use your energetic persistence to seek the will of the lord always.  i praise the lord for the blessing you are to our lives weston.  you are an incredible gift.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

aylaroo turns 2

happy birthday my sweet baby girl!

after months of proclaiming she would be "thee in august", august came and ayla jo turned 2.  that is big enough baby blue!!

cupcake, we had parties galore for you.  most were also celebrating brother bear, and all were such fun!

the festivities began with family pictures at the farm, and a birthday celebration for my dolly, my middle, and my nephew.  there was cake.  after the photographer had left of course. 

and there were presents.  aylaroo's first barbie!  thankfully cousin jared was around to assist the little girl with barbie's tricky fairy wings.  that is love!  prinpress adores her doll stroller.  when we are inside, the stroller must be inside, when we go out to play, we must take the stroller with us along with an assortment of babies currently named ayla, baby belle, charlotte, dora and baby easton.

lovey's actual birthday fell on a day we were camping at triponds.  the awesome sorroundings only added to the celebrating.  camp food is always based on taste and convenience instead of health, so ayla jo really got to indulge.  she had goldfish for breakfast and i even attempted cupcakes in the camper oven and had some success!

for the present portion of baby's big day we purchased a little tykes trike with a handle that is bright pink and beyond perfect.  we gifted cupcake with the bike upon arrival at the campground and she seriously went from just letting her feet dangle to placing them on the pedals to actually pedaling with a little power behind her leggies.  such a smartie roo roo!

we also picked out a little something from each of the fam to gift prinpress on her big day.  a cutie purse from daddy

 another angelcake stuffed kitten from bear, a my little pony from maxer and a barbie computer learning thing from mommy.  ayla jo, you have slept with your kitten ever since, taken your pony swimming, stuffed treasure upon treasure in your purse and, well, made lots of noise with that laptop.

sister, your brothers were way more excited about the presents than you.  as soon as you would have the paper off the boys would be shoving another gift in your face as fast as they could. it was a bit much.

 the leegwaters joined the camping experience on thursday and brought with them a birthday boy and cupcakes!

elliot and baby blue celebrated among the throng of siblings and cake loving parents!  happy birthday elliott!

cupcake, the fun was not over even though your birth day was done.  soon after our return to reality, we hosted a birthday bash with alex and courtney and the zoerhofs. 

prinpress loves all things tutu and glam.  she is saying cheese at me in the pic above. 

my daughter's hair is growing, now that she is two, though the progress is not super rapid.  we have three main styles nowadays: the fountain, pigtails, or a pony.  she really pulls off all the looks quite well.

o roo roo, we are so grateful to god for all that you bring into our lives.  you have added sparkle to our days and pink to our palette.  you are such an amazing little communicator, your words and phrases are precious and often hilarious.  your fave phrase right now is "ok, i wheel (will)".  your brothers are your protectors and your antagonizers.  what a blessing it is to get to have you as our daughter.  love you prinpress!!

Monday, September 10, 2012


yesterday was maxer's first day of kindergarten.  this is serious business.  hamilton elementary provides all day every day kindergarten at sandy view.  so our lives drastically changed on tuesday morning when the veen rolled out of that school parking lot with only two adorables on board.

i had spent much of tuesday morning and monday evening preparing my heart for this occasion.  i determined to choose enthusiasm and excitement for this chapter of life rather than grief and fear at the unknown.  the choice was easy, but the work was difficult as my heart broke at leaving my baby boy behind for longer than we have practically ever been seperated.  lots of the feelings were selfish, and lots were because of maxwell's own apprehension.  he does not know what to expect in this new setting and has suddenly become the youngest and newest member of school whereas he has always been the oldest in our fam, the leader of the adorables. 

i allowed the lord to minister to my fearful heart, and he proclaimed that perfect love does not have room for fear, and He loves perfectly.  maxer is in the best of hands, his heavenly father's.  so though i knew i would miss him terribley, i also rested in the peace that comes only from jesus. 

the lord had been working in maxer's heart as well.  our verse for devotions the week prior to school starting was "be kind to one another".  this enabled us to have several meaningful conversations about saying kind words, doing kind things and practicing kindness at school.  having that task before him at school seemed to provide maxer with purpose as he now begins to carry his own faith in a public context. 
i tiptoed into max's room and opened the door so as to begin the waking up process.  he came on down on his own and was ready for this new adventure.  brad was able to accompany us to sandy view for this big occassion.  his presence was strong and stable and comforting as i frantically whipped children and backpacks and indoor shoes into the veen. 

when we arrived at school bradley gave our kindergartener a hug and a pep talk. he stayed behind with the other adorables while i walked max into his class and assisted with the indoor shoes and cubby routine.  then while walking to his chair he quietly grabbed my hand.  my heart literally became a pile of mommy ache.  i settled him in and whispered that maybe grayson, the boy next to him who was crying, could use some kindness.  maxwell looked at me and said, "ok, i will mom" .  after telling him jesus and i loved him, i snuck away smiling.

i thanked mrs geukes the principal and found my beautiful fam in the veen waiting.  as soon as i locked eyes on my husband, the tears escaped.  not many, just enough to wash away my grief and make my way for my intense pride of maxer.  brad joked that he saw lots of moms high fiving in the parking lot, how could i cry?  but he knew.  we dropped brad off at work and headed to the library without our oldest. 

during max's first day, i drove by sandy view once and prayed aloud for my big boy.  i was third mom gathered to pick him up, only becuase i waited in the veen until two other mama's arrived.  i showered my son with praise at a job well done as he devoured his remaining lunch.

i could not be more proud of you maxwell alan meiste!  i pray for you all day long, that god grant you the peace of his presence, that you need not fear the unknowns of your day because you have god with you, that you will be safe and sound and grow in knowledge and relationship.  your kindergarten career has already made me a more prayerful mama, and i am so grateful to depend on the rock, our saviour.  see you at 3:40!